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Hundreds of people gathered to recognize current military members and veterans Monday as part of Louisville’s annual Veterans Day parade.

More than 70 organizations participated in the parade, marching and driving down Main Street to promote awareness for military members and their service. Johnny White, who has  served in the army for more than 18 years, said it was nice seeing recognition for veterans. Asked to define patriotism, White said anyone who has served in the military is patriotic and that patriotism is allegiance to the country rather than the Commander-in Chief. 

“I think more people are more glued to the heritage of the country and not the people in office, so that makes it a little bit more important,” White said. “If people jump off the bandwagon of the United States just because of somebody who’s in office, they’re not a true patriot.”

Army Servicemember Johnny White at the Louisville 2019 Veteran's Day ParadeKyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Army Servicemember Johnny White at the Louisville 2019 Veteran’s Day Parade

Erwin Roberts is in the Army Reserves, and he said patriotism means honoring the country and people who have served it.

“[Patriotism] means a lot. I believe that our country is the greatest country in the world and those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifices for the country – it’s very important that we honor them,” Roberts said.”Whether you served or if you haven’t served, just recognizing that’s being patriotic and being proud to be Americans.”

Army Reservist Erwin Roberts at the Louisville 2019 Veteran's Day ParadeKyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Army Reservist Erwin Roberts at the Louisville 2019 Veteran’s Day Parade

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.